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Gamification of Education

Page history last edited by Leana Zakay 13 years, 1 month ago

Gamification of Education


History of gaming

Games have been present in all recorded history. It played a role in the roman empire by pitting gladiator against gladiator whilst thousands of people watched. Games are changing and starting to challenge our intellectual mind. Specifically, video games are evolving to not only entertain but to teach and educate the young.


How it can be integrated into our educational system

There has been multiple experiments involving the integration of video games into our educational system. One the video games that have been introduced into a classroom in New York City is called LittleBigPlanet, which was created by Sony and has proven to awaken student’s creativity and has helped the meet state requirements. These experiments are targeted to students, who can arguably be called right brain children, who have no interest in reading a book and writing a five page essay. Experiencing the game world in a school environment shows the motivation, creativity and passion children obtain.




The advantages and disadvantages of gaming in our educational system




Dopamine Motivation

The release of dopamine can create a powerful pleasure response. If the action leads to a successful ending, your brain will once again produce dopamine, which will give you a pleasure response and get your brain in the habit of seeking future opportunities to repeat the action. Repeating this dopamine filled action can build and reinforce skills and responses.


Incremental Goal Progress

In the game world, there is instant feedback and constant progress which can lead to a rush of dopamine due to accomplishing a challenge or solution that leads to a harder level. When the brain receives positive and immediate feedback, it reinforces and strengthens the networks used. Gaming is so powerful because while gaming, children are being rewarded through intrinsic reinforcements, which is much more effective than encouraging parents or good marks. A young brain needs more frequent dopamine boosts to sustain effort, and although gaming offers instant rewards and feedback, it encourages goal directed behaviour.



Children are constantly being challenged in the game world. Each task they need to accomplish will be based on the past challenges they have mastered, therefore it won’t be impossible to accomplish this harder task but it will still remain a challenge. When an individual is involved in a task that is at the right challenge level, their brain will invest more effort and be more responsive to the positive feedback. Having gaming in a school environment will be beneficial because teachers are not able to provide constant individualized achievable challenges to each and every student. Having these individualized challenges allows students to distinguish their mistakes and their progress.





Computer games can often distract students so that, instead of learning the concepts presented in the game, they are focusing attention on elements of the game that don't have to do with learning. For example, an addition game has loud music as an introduction. The music can distract students at the start of the game, causing them to not concentrate on the addition skills they are about to learn. The narrator of the game can cause students to focus too much attention on what he does. Once students get to the math problem, they might be tempted to click on all the game elements, guessing the answer instead of figuring out the problem.



Loss of Social Skill

Computer use in the home and school can give students little time to interact with each other so that they learn few social skills. Heavy computer use can isolate students, keeping them from making friends. Students who are already isolated and lonely often choose playing computer games in lieu of using social skills to communicate with others.



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